Immunoglobulin-mediated CNS repair

J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2001 Oct;108(4 Suppl):S121-5. doi: 10.1067/mai.2001.118301.


Our view of the immune system continues to evolve from a system dedicated primarily to defense against pathogens to a system that monitors the integrity of the organism and aids in repair following damage. Repair following injury to the central nervous system (CNS) is facilitated by both cellular and humoral components of the immune system. Transfer of macrophages or T cells activated against CNS antigens promote axon regrowth and protect axons from further damage. Animals immunized with spinal cord antigens and subsequently challenged with demyelination or transection of the spinal cord demonstrate better repair than animals without prior immunization. In both experimental systems, antibodies are the biologically active immune component. Human mAbs reactive to oligodendrocytes that arise in the absence of neurologic injury promote remyelination. These data support the hypothesis that B-cell clones producing mAbs reactive to CNS epitopes are a normal part of the human antibody repertoire. They challenge the assertion that an immune response to CNS antigens is pathogenic. Treatment with CNS-reactive human mAbs following CNS disease may facilitate CNS regeneration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / therapeutic use
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use
  • Central Nervous System / immunology*
  • Central Nervous System Diseases / therapy*
  • Encephalomyelitis / therapy
  • Mice
  • Multiple Sclerosis / therapy


  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal